SHAH ALAM: At the age of seven, Nor Dhabitah Sabri, the youngest of four children in her family, was introduced to swimming by her father Sabri Hashim.
Realising her physique was more suitable for diving, Sabri, a teacher by profession, made her switch discipline at the age of eight and since then she has made impressive progress in diving.
And on Tuesday, the 10-year-old made a ‘little’ splash en route to winning the gold medal in the girls’ Under-12 one-metre springboard event at the National Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Aquatics Championships at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre in Shah Alam.
It was the first ever gold for MSS Putrajaya in aquatics. Her 12-year-old brother Mohd Danial had won a silver in the boys’ Under-12 one-metre springboard event.
The young lass has certainly made her mark after training under China coach Qi Xianhua at the Kuala Lumpur State Aquatics Complex in Cheras four hours a day for six days a week for the past two years.
The adorable pint-sized Nor Dhabitah, who will be competing in the three-metre springboard event today said: “I love diving because when I plunge into the water it is cooling and extremely refreshing.
“At present my favourite event is the one-metre springboard.
“In the two years of training I have learned basic skills such as the proper way of standing, take off, landing, body control and strength training.
“Presently we spend 30 minutes on the trampoline, 15 minutes on the suspended harness and 30 minutes diving.
“I had the opportunity to meet and observe the techniques of the senior divers in action during this MSSM meet in Shah Alam.
“I love to compete on the world stage one day just like my idol Bryan Nickson Lomas,” added the bubbly little lass.
Her mother Fazidah Jaafar said: “Since both my children are excelling in the sport of their choice and liking it, as parents we always buy whatever sports equipment they require.
“Although Nor Dhabitah had to undergo the rigorous training programme, she has grown to like it and has made good progress.
“Last year at the 12th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu she won a bronze medal teaming up with Loh Jia Li in the three-metre synchronised diving event for the KL team.
“Nor Dhabitah has good mental and body strength and since she is very young, she still has a long way to go before reaching national senior standard.”